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Sci Adv. 2019 Aug 16;5(8):eaav3489. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav3489. eCollection 2019 Aug.

Solution-processed transparent ferroelectric nylon thin films.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Ackermannweg 10, 55128 Mainz, Germany.
2
School of Chemical & Materials Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology, Sector H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan.
3
Institute of Organic Chemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Duesbergweg 10-14, Mainz, Germany.
4
Graduate School Materials Science in Mainz, Staudinger Weg 9, 55128 Mainz, Germany.
5
Department of Molecular Physics, Faculty of Chemistry, Lodz University of Technology, Zeromskiego 116, 90-924 Lodz, Poland.

Abstract

Ferroelectricity, a bistable ordering of electrical dipoles in a material, is widely used in sensors, actuators, nonlinear optics, and data storage. Traditional ferroelectrics are ceramic based. Ferroelectric polymers are inexpensive lead-free materials that offer unique features such as the freedom of design enabled by chemistry, the facile solution-based low-temperature processing, and mechanical flexibility. Among engineering polymers, odd nylons are ferroelectric. Since the discovery of ferroelectricity in polymers, nearly half a century ago, a solution-processed ferroelectric nylon thin film has not been demonstrated because of the strong tendency of nylon chains to form hydrogen bonds. We show the solution processing of transparent ferroelectric thin film capacitors of odd nylons. The demonstration of ferroelectricity, as well as the way to obtain thin films, makes odd nylons attractive for applications in flexible devices, soft robotics, biomedical devices, and electronic textiles.

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